When you close your eyes and think about a great vacation, what do you think of? Does that picture change when you think about your reality? Maybe, but it doesn’t have to. In this blog, I’ll share some of my tricks and tips to getting the vacation of your dreams while I begin the process of planning the best, longest, most expensive trip I’ve taken. In 2015, I will be spending three glorious weeks in Italy. Where? Don’t know. Doing what? You’ll know as soon as I do!

Or, as soon as we do. This will be my fourth more-than-I-should-expect vacay with one of my best friends, Trisha. We’ve been friends since 7th grade. For those keeping score, that’s 24 years. Mind blowing. You’ll learn more about the lessons we’ve learned and watch our Italian celebration take shape in later posts.

First things first. Every vacation boils down to a few simple decisions, but the list doesn’t have to be big or scary. Everything is an option, and those options are what make a vacation attainable or out of reach.

Who’s going?
Some vacations are made for two, some for groups. Some are girl trips and sometimes your bring all the kids and grandparents. The exact answer to the question doesn’t matter, but you need an answer to determine other details. If you have to house 16 people, you might have to consider changing the timing of your vacation.

Where are you going?
Sometimes, this really matters. Sometimes, it doesn’t. Both are fine, and make the process easier and harder. If you want to go to Italy, the destination matters. If you want to go someplace hot, or a rainforest or a glacier, you’ll be able to shop around for deals.

What are you doing?
Trisha and I have have trips scheduled down to the day, and we’ve laid on the beach for a week. It’s good to have ideas and its good to be flexible.

When do you want to go?
You can go in vacation whenever you want: spring, summer, fall, or winter. Holiday or regular weekend. And you can get good deals any of those times… If you plan way in advance or get lucky at the last minute. It’s all possible.

How long are you going?
Long weekend? A month? Don’t care? It’s all ok.

What’s your budget?
Every. Person. Has. A. Budget. $600? $6,000? Whatever it is, just be honest with yourself. This is no time to freak out or throw in the towel. Be realistic, for better or worse. There are ways to go for less, calm down.

Six questions. I’ll help you answer them in the way which gives you the best vacation possible.



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